Repeat Year – Must do Better
Quite often in business the sales effort tends to fall into the same routine as other parts of the organisation, with many of the day to day activities becoming a habit. To a large extent this can be put down to human nature, if it is not broken don’t fix it, we have always done it this way, why change. No doubt there are many tasks and duties that need to be taken care of for the business to function effectively. However it is in the area of sales and generating cash flow that operating on auto pilot will not achieve the results required.
Now that December is here it is a good time to reflect on your past twelve months, go back and see where you were this time last year. What have been the highs and lows over the period and think as you start 2012 will you be just repeating what you did in 2011. Take the time to study those areas that are vital to you keeping existing clients and customers and what prospecting you can do for new business. Review the sales activities of your business to determine what has worked well and what needs attention. Setting a plan for your organisation will be the best place to start and I suggest you look at these four areas which will determine how you go forward in 2012.
1. Clients & Customers – rate their individual value to your business, who are your core clients, plan contact schedules, identify prospects and build on this knowledge. Don’t forget them and don’t let them forget you.
2. Marketing – marketing creates the opportunity for you to sell, review & plan an effective program. Remember, half of the money you spent on advertising is wasted; the problem is you don’t know which half. Through prospecting, build a pipeline of future clients, customers and business.
3. Staff – this is where what you promise to the market gets delivered. Think of your business as a restaurant and the menu is what you offer to your customers. In a restaurant, the entire staff is involved, from taking the order, its preparation and then delivery to the table with the meal meeting the expectations of the customer.
4. Training – this is your future, your insurance policy for the success of your business. Review and implement ongoing programs to ensure you have a sales oriented organisation with all staff understanding and equipped to carry out their roles.
The New Year is that one time where we all reflect on what we are doing and start with a blank sheet only guided by what we need to sell to prosper. How well we apply ourselves to the task will be demonstrated on whether we reach the budgets and targets set for the months ahead. The last thing we want do is repeat the year just gone, because without growth, there will be no 2013.
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”. Will Rogers.